Joshua Davis Photography

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The Pile: Thoughts, Life, and Photography of Joshua Davis

Difficult Run

Photo by Joshua Davis (articnomad)

This is taken at Difficult Run Stream Park near Great Falls. This is near where the stream enters the Potomac River, so there are lots of waterfalls like this.

Filed under: Photography

Home of the Free Ranked Number One For Imprisonment

When the US has more prisoners than billion person plus China, you know somethings wrong. Yet the Pew Center issued a report saying 1 in 100 adult Americans are in jail. Here’s what the AP says:

For the first time in U.S. history, more than one of every 100 adults is in jail or prison, according to a new report documenting America’s rank as the world’s No. 1 incarcerator. It urges states to curtail corrections spending by placing fewer low-risk offenders behind bars.

Using state-by-state data, the report says 2,319,258 Americans were in jail or prison at the start of 2008 — one out of every 99.1 adults. Whether per capita or in raw numbers, it’s more than any other nation.

The report also noted severe racial disparities in prison sentencing. 1 in 9 black males between 20 and 34 is in jail. The numbers are still pretty bad for men in that age group, with 1 and 30 of them behind bars.

One reason attributed to large inmate populations is because politicians are afraid to appear soft on crime. The moment a criminal is released on a newly created inmate reduction program and commits a crime, politicians usually face a campaign of fear mongering. The end result is less spending on education, and more men and woman in jail so politicians can keep their seats.

All these numbers are crunching state budgets. Vermont, Michigan, Oregon and Connecticut all spend more money on prison then on higher education. But this budget crunch is accomplishing what common sense can’t. States are relaxing punishments for small probation violations, reviewing three strike laws, and looking at other means of reducing prison population.

What’s really shameful is communist China only jails 1.5 million of it’s citizens, while the Chinese population is over 3 times that of the America. Coming third is the former communist stronghold of Russia where businessmen are still thrown in jail for earning too much money.

The report was written by the Pew Center’s Public Safety Performance Project, who is also working with 13 states to reduce inmate populations.

Filed under: American Politics, Black Matters, News

Barack Obama and Islamophobia

When this election cycle began I expected a fair amount of shovanism, homophobia (because of Giuliani) and racism.

What I didn’t expect was anti-Muslim sentiments against a Christian candidate running for president. Perhaps this has reached a climax with debate moderator Tim Russert asking about Farrakhans endorsement of Obama.

Then Hilary Clinton tried to gain points by saying, “You asked specifically if he [Obama] would reject it [the endorsement] and there’s a difference between denouncing and rejecting.” Obama replied, “If the word ‘reject’ Senator Clinton feels is stronger than the word ‘denounce’, then I’m happy to concede the point and I would reject and denounce [Farrakhan]”

Obama went on to clarify his position on the issue:

I think that they are unacceptable and reprehensible. I did not solicit this support. He expressed pride in an African-American who seems to be bringing the country together. I obviously can’t censor him, but it is not support that I sought. And we’re not doing anything, I assure you, formally or informally with Minister Farrakhan.

This isn’t the first time Islamphobia has creeped into the 2008 election. Previously both the McCain and Clinton campaign have made a big deal of Obama’s middle name, which is Hussein. Then there are the leaked photos that are designed to conjure images of radical Muslims in turbines.

But a major point of Obamas campaign has been about uniting people. He wants to see Democrats and Republicans, black and white, Mid West and East Coast all work together. Perhaps one of the most divisive divides today is none of the above, but Jew versus Muslim.

Obama needs to reach out to both groups if his message of unity is authentic. If he truly denounces Farakhan as a whole he will be alienating black Muslims. What he can do is reject his anti-Semitism which he has done. Besides, in recent years Farrakhan has even denounced his own anti-Semintic comments.

But apparently many in Jewish community realize this was a game to score cheap points. Here’s what Jewish newspaper Haartez says:

Obama, talking about Farrakhan – and about anti-Semitism among African-Americans, which he also denounced in his speech on Martin Luther King Day – touched a sensitive nerve when he was talking about one possibility that’s inherent to his candidacy: he has the chance to restore the alliance between blacks and Jews.

This will not necessarily get Obama the votes of every Jewish liberal in this country. But it is also one promise that no American liberal Jew can simply ignore.

Filed under: '08 Election, American Politics, Politics, Religion

Journalism Memorial

Photo by Joshua Davis (articnomad)

In Rosslyn they have a nice memorial to journalists that died in the line of duty. At first it seems like an odd place (between twin towers) but then I remembered this use to be the former home of the Newsuem.

Filed under: Photography

Office Residential

Photo by Joshua Davis (articnomad)

Filed under: Photography

Reflections

Photo by Joshua Davis (articnomad)

More from the Rosslyn Twin Towers.

Filed under: Photography

Office Towers


Photo by Joshua Davis (articnomad)

Two office towers in Rosslyn, Arlington, VA

 

Filed under: Photography

Freedom Park

Photo by Joshua Davis (articnomad)

One the Rosslyn Twin Towers is seen behind a monument to journalists at Freedom Park.

Filed under: Photography